Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Republicans distance themselves from Mr. Trump because he says “bad things.”

Ms. Clinton not only supports but covers up for Mr. Clinton who says “good things” but does far worse.


The question to voters is simple:

Do you want someone who is politically incorrect or someone who says whatever you want to hear while she sneaks and scurries around behind your back to hide the foulest of crimes?

The bums who need tossing first are the hypocrites throwing rocks from both sides of the aisle.


Wordy Wednesday

Halloween for very small places: Wally sells mini-bales to people who don’t know any better. Wheat straw is worth about $24.20 per ton or less than half a buck for a full field bale.

Teeny Tiny Walmart Bales
A standard field bale of hay or straw has fixed height and width of 14 or 16 inches by 18 inches. The length varies according baler settings; it will be either about 36 inches or 48 inches long. A 2-string dry straw bale can be as light as 35-40 pounds. The average is probably 40-50 pounds for 2-string and 60-75 for 3-string (straw, not hay). Looks like you could get some 6-8 or more of the mini-bales from just one 50-cent field bale.

Here’s what a real bale looks like. I’m in the wrong bidness.

Real Field Bales with People for Scale

Mayday! Mayday!

The NYTimes reports that, after Rep. Pete Gallego (R-TX) lost the election for his Congressional district in 2014, “researchers from the Baker Institute and the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy polled 400 registered voters in the district who sat out the election. All were asked why they did not vote, rating on a scale of 1 to 5 from a list of seven explanations — being ill, having transportation problems, being too busy, being out of town, lacking interest, disliking the candidates and lacking a required photo identification.

“The vast majority of those who claimed not to have voted because they lacked a proper ID actually possessed one, but did not know it.”

“Nearly 26% said the main reason was that they were too busy. At the other end, 5.8% said the main reason was lacking a proper photo ID, with another 7% citing it as one reason. Most surprising, however, was what researchers found when they double-checked that response: The vast majority of those who claimed not to have voted because they lacked a proper ID actually possessed one, but did not know it.”

I’m thinking that if you are so spectacularly uninformed that you don’t know you have ID, you don’t know enough to vote.


Mail Order

Both North and South Puffin are somewhere beyond the end of the rainbow so instant gratification is more than a little difficult here. When I was a child, my family would literally mail an order form to a company like Sears and they would send a box of goodies by parcel post the day after the order reached them.

Mail call was always like Christmas around the Harper household and planning was important because it generally took a few days for the (first class) letter to get to the vendor and more than a week for the package to get back.

Today, we click a button on a website and a fulfillment house somewhere generates a label for same day or next day delivery but the principle is the same.

And some of us still call it mail-order. Heck, I usually counsel clients to ship via the US Post Office. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it gets there on time, I tell them. In fact, I shipped a box by parcel post to a business up north on Friday. It was in their PO Box this morning.

Confession: I take drugs.

The Thin, Gray, Plastic PouchThese days, of course, most people my age do. We take anti-cholesterol meds and anti-arthritis meds and blood pressure meds and anti-anxiety meds and anti-dizziness meds and anti-gout meds and antihistamines. We take drugs to combat osteoporosis and respiratory difficulty and heart attacks and sudden bladder symptoms. Then we take diuretics to help us pee. After all that, we really do need the antidepressants.

Anyway, our insurance companies train us all to buy by mail order to save us money and time.

I do.

I ordered my usual 90-day refill from the Humana Pharmacy in Phoenix on December 4, 2015.

12/7 email
Your Humana Pharmacy Order Has Shipped!
Order Number 120128889
Estimated Shipping Time: 3-5 days
Click on “Tracking id” under your order information.

Humana sends its mail order drugs by US Mail. They drop the bottle(s) in a thin, gray plastic pouch and send it off into the night from the Phoenix PO.

USPS Tracking PageI clicked the tracking link.

Humana sent the “preshipment info” to the US Postal Service the same time they sent me the email notification. The next thing I know, the package is in Essex, Vermont, just three days later. Nobody, least of all USPS, knows how it got there from Arizona.

Pretty good, eh?

Except it was supposed to be shipped to South Puffin, not North Puffin.

12/11 Tracking Page
Available for Pickup, North Puffin VT

12/11 Tracking Page
Forwarded, North Puffin VT

12/18 Tracking Page
Arrived at USPS Facility, Brockton MA

12/18 email
Your Humana Pharmacy order is on hold.
Our pharmacy team has contacted your doctor to get the information that we need.
Order Number 120128889
Order Status On Hold

From Massachusetts, the package went to Jacksonville and back to Springfield, MA.

12/27 Tracking Page
Departed USPS Destination Facility, Springfield MA

12/27 email
Your Humana Pharmacy order is on hold.
Our pharmacy team has contacted your doctor to get the information that we need.
Order Number 120128889
Order Status On Hold

Destination Facility? It was on its way back to North Puffin.

12/28 Tracking Page
Forwarded, North Puffin VT

12/29 email
Your Humana Pharmacy order is on hold.
Our pharmacy team has contacted your doctor to get the information that we need.
Order Number 120128889
Order Status On Hold

That was the last email from Humana which still may think they haven’t heard from my doc. It was also the last we heard from USPS for a while.

They did turn up ten days later. The USPS tracking page reported they “arrived at our USPS facility in JERSEY CITY, NJ 07097 on January 7, 2016 at 8:54 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.”

Unbelievable. Jersey City is *never* in the routing from North Puffin to Springfield MA to Jax to here. Humana shipped December 7. Humana, btw, keeps emailing “Your Humana Pharmacy order is on hold.”

My drugs went to Phoenix.


Really? Phoenix?

When they arrived at the “facility” in Phoenix, I called my friend Liz Arden who lives out there somewhere. She promised to look for them. No joy. Meanwhile, I used the “Contact us” link on the tracking page to send them this nastygram:

“USPS has forwarded this package
everywhere except to me. The
package contains prescription
medication that is now almost
a month overdue.
USPS needs to find it and get it
here by January 15, 2016 even
if you have to send it by FedEx.”

On January 16, my drugs were in California and I had not heard from USPS.

I hope they really are the drugs I ordered.

Philadelphia on January 18! It will be interesting to see if the drugs turn north or south; odds on they’re headed for North Puffin again. On the other hand, the postmaster in Marathon called and left a message. She had gotten my nastygram from the website. She didn’t leave a phone number, though. I tried to call back at the phone number given on (and at 1-800-Ask-USPS) but the number has been disconnected. Except when it’s busy.

The tracking page said my drugs were still in Philly on January 20 but I did finally reach the Marathon Post Office. A nice rep there said she would send a slip to a supervisor. She also suggested I call USPS customer service.

After 33 minutes on hold at the 1-800-CallUSPS number, the lovely Sammy came on the line. Sammy sounded Chinese which made me wonder. We do know USPS outsources a lot of functions, particularly truck transportation of mail, so I figured it’s possible. I found lots of tin hat sites saying that USPS outsources their call center but no real evidence. One fellow posted this:

“So here’s the deal – I called the USPS to get information on a lost package I had shipped. After 20 minutes of miscommunication, on both ends, I asked, ‘Are you working in India?’
“Response – ‘Yes.'”
“For shits and giggles, I called 1-800-ASK-USPS a few hours later. Had a brief conversation about the tracking of the same package. The accent prompted me to ask, in a pleasant voice… ‘What country are you working out of today?’
“Response – ‘China’.”

Anywho, Sammy promised to have a supervisor find my package, take it out of the forwarding system, and manually send it to me. Yeah, you’re right. That didn’t happen either.

The post office (eCustomerCare National @ emailed me January 23 and apologized for “the inconvenience that you have experienced in regards to the delivery of your package.” The tracking page had had no updates since the drugs arrived in Philly. eCustomerCare National suggested I ask Humana to send a replacement order.

1/28 Tracking Page
Arrived at Post Office, North Puffin VT

1/28 Tracking Page
Forwarded, North Puffin VT

The North Puffin Post Office received the drugs and forwarded them before I knew they had left Philly.


Still, when I called, the clerk there said she’d find them on the truck. She called the Swanton PO to divert them, tracked them down on the truck, had the driver hand the package to a clerk in the Swanton PO. The Swanton clerk had prepared a Priority Mail box so she dropped the bag of drugs in the new box and sent it. They departed the Swanton Post Office at 3:18 pm. The North Puffin clerk called me back with the tracking number. Expected Delivery Day is Monday, February 1, 2016.

Air Mail Package in the Baggage CompartmentJanuary 28. The cool news of the day is that, 52 days after Humana shipped them, a human bean found my drugs put them in a new box, and sent them by airplane.

January 29. According to, my drugs arrived in Nashua this morning … and stayed there. isn’t very good at updates.

“USPS is definitely not good at updates and communication,” Miz Arden said. “I rarely get information about USPS-based shipments, except those via Amazon or similar company that will themselves track the package and provide the updates. Sometimes USPS provides an update (I suspect the company who shipped with them worked that out with them), but it’s usually the day they ship, and then the day after the carrier placed it in your parcel box.”

They seem willing to tell us when things arrive at (some) entry points but seem to have no idea of departures and waypoints.

This package started in Phoenix, AZ. It went to North Puffin three times, to Florida twice, back to Phoenix, and surfed in California once before winding up in South Puffin after 54 days. You should see all its passport stamps!

US Mail AM107, a 1942 DC-3 in Ozark Airlines liveryJanuary 30. My drugs arrived! A day ahead of schedule and 54 days after they shipped. And all it took was a real person who put her hands on the package to rip it out of the forwarding system. The thin, gray plastic pouch inside the Priority Mail box looked like it had been ravaged by wolves. And I have no idea what Humana was talking to my doctor about.

At least we now know how to get a package from Phoenix to South Puffin, now. It has to go by way of the Ozarks.